I’ve met people who, when confronted with the notion of diving into McDonalds and grabbing a quick bite, will wrinkle their nose in disgust, briskly brush off the suggestion and instantly start Googling the location of the nearest Pret a Manger on their phone.
I’ve been obsessed with food and diets since my early teenage years, so wish I could be that person. I mean, sure, when we’re all drunk, stumbling in any direction that promises chicken nuggets, and that person just wants to grab a water from the WHSmith at the train station, I hate that person. That person is a real buzzkill. But when words like heart disease and diabetes are tossed around, when I agonise over my figure and weight, when I stress about how much money each month is spent on takeaways, I really wish I was that person.
I know a whole lot about food. Truth is, I could tell you why you’ll regret that curry tomorrow (obvious aside, of course). I could tell you why a fast food burger is automatically so much worse for you than one you’d make at home. Hell, during my most neurotic days, I could probably tell you exactly how many calories are in your favourite pizzas, slice by slice, topping by topping. But my most logical, rational, informed self just isn’t enough to compete with those pesky cravings.
When it’s curry night, I’m not thinking about how bloated that creamy sauce will make me feel tomorrow; I’m thinking, “damn, get some of that delicious butter chicken in my belly!” I’m not thinking about healthy, homemade alternatives when I’m tucking into a Five Guys burger; I’m thinking, “wow, how are there still SO MANY FRIES in the bottom of my paper bag?!” I’m not thinking about counting the calories in my pizza when I’m scoffing down a slice; I’m thinking, “man, pizza is the freakin’ BEST!”
It’s weird, isn’t it? I know how bad it is for me. I know I can make something better at home. I don’t need it. I mean, I’m not a smoker because I know it’s super bad for my health, right? I’d never drink alcohol and then get in my car and drive, because I know it’s dangerous (and, um, totally illegal). I don’t sit at home on my sofa and binge drink seven days a week because I know it’s a risky habit. But I know my body, my health, would truly benefit if I cut out fast food and junk food, yet I don’t. So maybe I might as well smoke a pack a day and down a bottle of wine every night? Maybe this is just as bad.
One day, perhaps I’ll learn how to silence the grease-drenched, carb-filled call of junk food. Maybe, one day, I’ll learn how to be that person.